by William Olkowski, PhD, 8.6.12.
NO, NO, NO, for pictures see the FFRF website and sources below or the FFRF website: Did you know.
The 10 commandments are not the basis for the US Constitution as many religious people claim. They are ignorant of the facts and are merely repeating things they have heard. Consider, instead some actual facts as collected by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF):
Was the 10 Commandments the basis for the US Constitution?
Did you know that the purpose of the Ten Commandments was to establish the ancient nation of Israel, not the nation of the United States?
Did you know that the purpose of the First Commandment was to declare which god among many (Elohim) was to be worshipped by the nation of Israel?
Did you know that the first four Commandments have nothing to do with law or ethics? They are religious edicts.
Did you know that the First Commandment violates our Constitution? Did you know that the United States Government cannot tell citizens what god to worship, how many gods to worship, or that we should worship any god(s) at all? Did you know the phrase “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” contradicts the Bill of Rights?
Did you know that breaking the first Commandment is not illegal under American law?
Did you know that making graven images is not illegal under American law? Exodus 20:4-5
Do you know that the second commandment violates the First Amendmentguarantee of freedom of speech?
Did you know that taking the “lord’s name” in vain is not illegal under American law?
Do you know that this commandment also violates the freedom of speech?
Did you know that failing to worship on the Sabbath is not illegal under American law? Do you know that our Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religion?
Did you know that it is not illegal to dishonor parents under American law?
Although respect and honor are good ideas, especially within a family, there is no American law that requires it.
Did you know that adultery is not illegal under federal law?
Although adultery is a serious matter with social and moral consequences, it is not (and should not be) a federal crime in the United States.
Did you know that it is not illegal to “covet” your neighbor’s property under American law? This commandment, if enforced, would undermine our entire system of free enterprise!
If American law is based on Hebrew scripture, why are 70% of actions forbidden by the Ten Commandments legal in the United States?
Why will no officer of the law arrest you for any of these acts that were clearly prohibited by the ancient Israelites?
Could it be that American law is based on something else?
Did you know that only three of the Ten Commandments have any relevance to modern American law? Did you know that these three humanistic precepts existed long before the ancient Israelites claimed the copyright?
Did you know that American law allows for mitigating circumstances, degrees of homicide, self defense, while the Ten Commandments do not? Did you know that telling a lie is generally not illegal under American law (except in proscribed circumstances such as perjury and truth in advertising)?
Did you know that the Tenth Commandment insultingly lumps women with property, along with houses, slaves, and animals?
to the Constitution
The right of citizens of the United Statesto vote
shall not be denied or abridged by the United States
or by any State on account of sex.
If American law is based on the Ten Commandments, why are women legally equal with men in this country?
Did you know that the Supreme Court, following the Constitution, has declared that the Ten Commandments are “undeniably a sacred text” (which may not be posted in public schools)?
Wording from Stone v. Graham, 1980
Did you know that no U.S. Supreme Court decision has ever been basedon the Ten Commandments?
Did you know that the Supreme Court decides whether an action or law is constitutional or unconstitutional, not whether it is biblical or unbiblical? .
Did you know that none of the U.S. founding documents mentions the Ten Commandments?
Did you know that during the Constitutional Convention when our secular Constitution was adopted, the Ten Commandments were not mentioned once?
Did you know there was no formal prayer at the Constitutional Convention?
THEN WHAT IS THE BASIS OF AMERICAN LAW?
Did you know that the basis of American Law is the U.S. Constitution, not the Ten Commandments or any religious teaching?
to the Constitution
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,
and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Did you know that the United States Constitution–the basis of American law–is a completely godless document?
Do you know that the only references to religion in the Constitution are exclusionary?
U.S. Constutition, Article VI, paragraph 3
. . . no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification
to any office or public trust under theUnited States.
Did you know that the U.S. Constitution is not based on a king, deity, goddess, lord, monarch or sovereign authority?
Did you know that the sovereign authority of the U.S. Constitution is “We, the people”?
Did you know that the “consent of the governed” (mentioned in the Declaration of Independence) is an anti-biblical concept?
Did you know that our secular Constitution is what makes the United States truly great?
REFERENCES & NOTES
Religious Symbols in the U.S.National Capitol
Symbols of law at the Supreme Court
Statues of Contemplation of Justice and Authority of Law
Inner door, as described by guides at the Supreme Court
One report of the guides’ remarks, told by a surprised pastor who visited the building, appears here.
Courtroom Friezes: North and South Walls
Courtroom Friezes: East and West Walls
The term “fascism” derives from fasces, which represented “strength through unity,” because it is harder to break a bundle than a single stick.
Penalty for working on the sabbath
“Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whoseoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.” (Exodus 35:2) For the chilling application of this law, see Numbers 15:32-36, where a man who picked up sticks on the sabbath was stoned, “and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses.”
“Consent of the Governed” antibiblical
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes.” (Proverbs 3:5-7)
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1)
“The LORD has established His throne in the heavens; And His sovereignty rules over all.” (Psalm 103:19)
* Some Christian “Did You Know” sites to which this article responds:
(Prepared by Dan Barker for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, August 2012.)